What makes the difference between ordinary and extraordinary, between average and exceptional, mediocre and superb? What is the difference between being an employee, a struggling business owner, and an exceptional entrepreneur?

Most of us have had the opportunity to be an employee at some point in our lives, and discovered that we were psychologically unemployable. Many of us then found an opportunity to step out of a job with corporate America and into free enterprise. We started our own businesses with an intention to live life on our terms, manifest our dreams, achieve wealth, stop struggling, and start enjoying the time we spend in our enterprises.

Here is the point where most people in our situation encounter a problem: we have no idea what successful entrepreneurs do!

Most of us did not have entrepreneurial parents. Most of us have not had the chance to spend time with successful entrepreneurs to see what they do and how they do it, who they spend time with, what books they read and what tapes they listen to, how they invest, how they create results and how they achieve their goals.

Happily, there are more people every year seeking the opportunity to step into free enterprise. Most bookstores have entire sections devoted to self-help, motivation, business and money. You don’t have to personally know or meet exceptional entrepreneurs to mentor with one!

During my journey, I have spent a lot of time studying entrepreneurs. I have also been fortunate enough to spend time working with such exceptional people as Mark Victor Hansen, Jim Rohn, Jerry Clark, Stephen Simon and other self-made millionaires. As a result, I’ve been able to create an entrepreneurial profile that will help you understand what separates the average from the exceptional, so that you can begin to transform yourself, your enterprise and your life.

Nothing Personal In Business (NPIB)

One of the keys to success as an entrepreneur is to become emotionally resilient. When you are, nothing gets you down for long, and nothing gets you so excited that you crash if the outcome turns out to be less than perfect.

NPIB means taking yourself out of the equation. It means you stop taking every situation and every decision personally.

As an entrepreneur, sometimes you need to make decisions that have nothing to do with the other person: it is simply the best decision for your business. Other people will do the same thing, at times. It is imperative to realize that business really is business. It is not personal!

It’s not that business transactions are not heartfelt. In business, as in life, it’s important to care. But when you can be objective and understand business decisions without internalizing them, you create an unshakable foundation for your enterprise.

Opportunity-Seeking Perception (OSP)

Every successful entrepreneur at some point develops the ability to create opportunity. I call this skill “opportunity-seeking perception (OSP).”

OSP means that if opportunity is banging down your front door, you open your window and invite in a new situation! I cannot tell you how many times I have faced the proverbial “donut hole” in my own enterprises—that is, no money in the till—and decided I refused to close the day without a sale. These are the times when I go back through my contacts and clients, choose the person I’ll approach with my services and offer him the opportunity to hire me!

Risk for Reward

“Risk for reward” is the ability to realize that in any situation, you always have an opportunity to gain from the result.

Successful entrepreneurs constantly seek change in their lives and in their enterprises, and constantly take calculated risks to achieve the rewards and results they desire.

Many people do risk for reward, but with a skewed view of the values involved. For instance, many people will risk $5, $10 or even $100 to win a lottery with a $50 million jackpot. This is taking a very small risk for a very large reward, and the odds of achieving the result are insignificant.

Exceptional entrepreneurs are willing to take calculated risks consistently to achieve a desired outcome when the odds are slightly in their favor to win. They understand that the risk may not return the reward, so they don’t risk their entire bank account or bet the future of their enterprise on one situation or transaction.

Understand Perfection

There are two kinds of perfectionism: practical and neurotic.

Practical perfectionists pay attention to details. They take time to check their e-mails for grammar and spelling before clicking “send.” Practical perfectionists realize that despite the best intentions, no one is perfect. While they strive for excellence in all that they do, they move on to new tasks and don’t spend more time on any one task than the situation merits.

Neurotic perfectionists are so consumed with the idea of being perfect that they often become paralyzed by imperfection and are rendered unable to take action. When a situation doesn’t pan out, neurotic perfectionists tend to assume all the blame, because they didn’t “take the right action” or “say the right words.” Neurotic perfectionists say, “I’ll do it when the time is right”—and the “right time” never comes. They spend so much time getting ready to get ready that they never are ready!

Exceptional entrepreneurs realize their strengths as well as their weaknesses, and they focus on their strengths. They realize that there is no such thing as saying the wrong words to the right people. They move forward, presenting their ideas, products and service, regardless of the audience. They realize that there are times when striving for perfection is appropriate—but they also realize that the key to success is action!

JEFFERY COMBS is a faculty member of
Networking Univerity, as well as a trainer, coach and has
consulted to thousands of network marketing leaders.